As a practicing gynaecologist in Singapore for over 10 years, I’ve connected with many patients from all over Asia — some who have been with me since their young adult days, and some whom I worked with for the first time. For those in the latter category, many were overwhelmed at first as they did not even have the habit of visiting a gynaecologist regularly! I believe many of you are in the same situation and are looking for a reliable OB-GYN to look after your pregnancy journey.
Choosing the right OB-gyn is more important than you think; after all, this is the person you go to for sexual and reproductive health and wherever you are in life. Don’t worry, I’m not here to hard sell my services or clinic. Everyone has different needs and preferences, so a gynaecologist who works for one might not work for the other.
To make your search for a gynaecologist in Singapore easier, here are some of my insider tips.
Communication is key
Since your OB-GYN is someone you’ll need to have awkward but crucial conversations with, I’d recommend picking someone you feel comfortable talking to. Think about a friend you can trust and speak to naturally — ideally, this is how your OB-GYN relationship should be like too. If this sounds a little far fetched, think about it: you’re looking for someone whom you trust to give the best personal care possible, and that person should leave you feeling confident and understood.
During your first visit, ask a question and notice how the OB-GYN responds. Does he/she welcome questions and answer them in ways you can understand? Does he/she show an interest in your needs, treatment preferences and respect them? These are some of the things to take into consideration.
Ask for referrals from friends and family
You can do as many Google searches, but the best recommendation is always from someone who’s had a pleasant experience or knows an individual who did. To start off, I recommend getting a referral list from your primary care doctor, and then asking friends and family you trust. Find out what they like about the gynaecologist(s), do your research, and if you like what you see, set up an appointment!
Research the OB-GYN’s credentials
So I’ve mentioned a fair bit on the necessary intangibles like communication and word of mouth referrals from trusted professionals, friends and family. Here’s where the tangibles need to come in: credentials. Board certification is one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing a gynaecologist. Does the doctor have the necessary qualifications, experience and training to provide gynaecology and obstetric care? All these especially matter if you’re facing some health problems or a high-risk pregnancy. You might also want to look into whether the gynaecologist in question has any history of malpractices or disciplinary actions.
Myself and I believe other healthcare professionals can agree that in any field of medicine, qualifications and a clean track record are indispensable.
The OB-GYN’s gender
Gender doesn’t play a part in a gynaecologist’s capabilities, but it’s important that you feel comfortable with whether your gynae’s male or female, as you’ll be discussing personal information with this individual. On this note, I know of some women who may feel awkward or shy around a male gynae, but there’s no need to be. Whatever you’re conscious about us seeing or hearing, trust me, we’ve seen and heard it all.
Have a good think on whether gender matters to you but at the same time, don’t deny yourself of the best professional care just because of the gynae’s gender, especially if you have health concerns at hand.
Check the hospital your OB-GYN is affiliated with
Usually, there are a few ways patients go about this. Some who already have a hospital in mind pick a good OB-GYN at that particular location, while others start with an OB-GYN they like first and then choose where they can deliver. There’s no preferred method to doing this, but what you want to make sure is that both the OB-GYN and hospitals they’re affiliated with have excellent neonatal standards and well known reputations. Pay attention also to your OB-GYN’s practice policies — does the team handle after-hours questions? Can they connect you to other specialists if the need arises? In general, your OB-GYN should be able to provide and help you with all-rounded care.
To sum up
Choosing a gynaecologist shouldn’t be a stressful matter. At the bottom of it, simply trust your judgement. Do you have a good feeling about them? Do they assure your worries? It’s not rocket science; go with what feels best.
I hope this article gave you some insight on the things to look out for when looking for a gynaecologist.
Tan K. H. (2017). Progress in obstetrics and gynaecology – evidence-based practices and practice-based evidence reviews. Singapore medical journal, 58(6), 283–284. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2017047
Dooley M. (2006). Complementary therapy and obstetrics and gynaecology: a time to integrate. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology, 18(6), 648–652. https://doi.org/10.1097/GCO.0b013e3280105edc